VLZ Davis, VLZ Davis Comms team steals the airways again this week and tempers flare at the Davis polling booth.

Another Davis blizz

This weekend saw another of the rare Davis blizzards blowing through, with plenty of snow being dumped all around station. It started out fairly calm on Saturday, but all day Sunday through to Monday night saw average wind speeds of 54 knots (100km/hr) with a maximum gust of 83 knots (154km/hr). As you can expect, this kept most people indoors for the weekend providing a great excuse to catch up on some TV/ movies, organizing pictures or just sitting around chatting.

At certain times though, some expeditioners are required to get out to the other buildings and take observations, e.g. Team Dieso and the Bureau of Meteorology guys. Just a simple task of getting from one building to another can be difficult and time consuming due to the high winds, blowing snow and very low visibility during a blizz.

Once the blizz settles, it’s time to start clearing snow from the doors, decks and roads. This is mostly done with machinery, but there are times when the surgical precision of a shovel is required.

Comms life

The life of a communications technician is varied and challenging from the time you get here until it’s time to leave. The cold can make any small task such a repairing an antenna cable go from half an hour to three hours. There were many attempts to get to one site due to the weather and the amount of light was another challenge.

One thing is for sure; working here is the opportunity to get out and about and take in the views. Platcha is a great place to go in summer or winter while Tarbuck Crag presents a challenge during the winter, to say the least. It’s always much easier to get there in summer, with a helicopter, as some of the crew found out a few weekends ago when they walked up the snow covered peak. The remote repeater needed to be checked after it failed so with plenty of snow covered rocks over a couple of kilometres up the hill the view was worth their troubles.

From a polling booth no-where-near-you

It’s been the only thing in the news for the past six weeks, and finally Election Day came and went.

Agree or not with the outcome, the democratic process has been followed. So much so, that even in the furthest reaches of Antarctica, the Davis crew lined up to have their say.

“What’s your name? … And your address? … And have you voted at any other polling stations today?”

“Ummmmm … not likely!”

Even this far removed from society there are the woes of waiting in line for a spot at the polling booth, especially when we have people voting one to a hundred-and-something below the line. For those of you in the “real world” that get frustrated by such things (even though you are snug and warm in a heated school hall), imagine waiting outside at −25 degrees, in a light breeze… and SHORTS!